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Elevated Triglycerides Common Among U.S. Adults

But less than 4 percent of those with concentrations above 200 mg/dL are treated

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. adults, hypertriglyceridemia is a common condition associated with physical inactivity, overweight or obesity. But the overwhelming majority of adults with hypertriglyceridemia are not receiving medical treatment for it, according to research published in the March 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Earl S. Ford, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed 1999-2004 data on 5,610 participants aged 20 and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

The researchers found that the unadjusted prevalences for a triglyceride concentration of 150 mg/dL or higher, 200 mg/dL or higher, 500 mg/dL or higher and 1,000 mg/dL or higher were 33.1 percent, 17.9 percent, 1.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Overall, they also found that only 1.3 percent of subjects were receiving hypertriglyceridemia treatments such as fenofibrate, gemfibrozil or niacin, and that treatment rates were also low in subjects with concentrations of 150 mg/dL or higher and 200 mg/dL or higher (2.6 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively).

"Because measuring triglyceride concentrations is routinely performed in clinical practice, physicians have to regularly decide on the need for treatment in many of their patients," the authors conclude. "As research clarifies uncertainties in the relation between triglyceride concentration and cardiovascular disease, guidelines to treat hypertriglyceridemia will likely be modified."

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